Jonathan Swift and James Baldwin.

Jonathan Swift and James Baldwin.

Jonathan Swift and James Baldwin compare and Contrast. compare their lives, their writing work, and time period

During his decade of work for Temple, Swift returned to Ireland twice. On a trip in 1695, he took all necessary requirements to become an ordained priest in the Anglican tradition. Under Temple’s influence, he also began to write, first short essays and then a manuscript for a later book. In 1699, Temple died.

Swift completed the task of editing and publishing his memoirs—not without disputes by several of Temple’s family members—and then, grudgingly, accepted a less prominent post as secretary and chaplain to the Earl of Berkeley.

After making the long journey to the Earl’s estate, Swift was informed the position had been filled. Discouraged but resourceful, he leaned on his priestly qualifications and found work ministering to a pea-sized congregation just 20 miles outside of Dublin.

For the next 10 years, he gardened, preached and worked on the house provided to him by the church. He also returned to writing. His first political pamphlet was titled A Discourse on the Contests and Dissentions in Athens and Rome.

In 1954, Baldwin received a Guggenheim Fellowship. He published his next novel, Giovanni’s Room, the following year. The work told the story of an American living in Paris and broke new ground for its complex depiction of homosexuality, a then-taboo subject.

Love between men was also explored in a later Baldwin novel Just Above My Head (1978). The author would also use his work to explore interracial relationships, another controversial topic for the times, as seen in the 1962 novel Another Country.

Baldwin was open about his homosexuality and relationships with both men and women. Yet he believed that the focus on rigid categories was just a way of limiting freedom and that human sexuality is more fluid and less binary than often expressed in the U.S.

“If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy,” the writer said in a 1969 interview when asked if being gay was an aberration, asserting that such views were an indication of narrowness and stagnation.